Digital Health Augmented Reality Startup Bootcamp

Apply today to join Publicis Health and NYC Media Lab for a 6-week, zero-equity, "lean launchpad" accelerator!

Coming summer 2017, The Publicis Health “Digital Health Augmented Reality Startup Bootcamp”, in partnership with NYC Media Lab, will support emerging media and technology startup concepts developed by university faculty and students at the graduate level. 

Publicis Health will award $25,000 funding and development support to five entrepreneurial teams. We are seeking creative technologists, engineers and designers who want to build augmented reality solutions to impact the healthcare industry. The accelerator will encourage and support customer discovery and market validation for five entrepreneurial teams. The goal is for all teams to emerge from the bootcamp with a plan for a minimum viable product. 

“With immensely difficult healthcare systems and increased responsibility placed on patients, digital solutions are essential in helping people to navigate their conditions and care practices with simplicity,” said Richard Schwartz, ‎SVP, Marketing and Connected Health Partnerships at Publicis Health. “Publicis Health believes that augmented reality technology, which leverages the devices people already have in their pockets, will provide patients with important insights, engagement opportunities, and the resources needed to better manage their health challenges.”

Publicis Groupe has a history of achievements in terms of embracing innovation, specifically through the recent global Publicis90 challenge. Publicis90 existed to support digital projects and startups through funding and mentoring, and selected 90 participating teams to celebrate the corporation’s 90th anniversary. NYC Media Lab also has a strong track record, having completed two cohorts of The Combine, its signature accelerator program that focuses on commercialization for university R&D. The Startup Bootcamp exemplifies a continuation of support for both parties.

Challenge Questions

  • What if hospitals were less intimidating, and lab reports, equipment, diagnosis, and medications were instantly made trackable and shareable?
  • What if Type 2 Diabetes sufferers could use AR in grocery stores and restaurants to make better food choices?
  • What if AR could be used for people experiencing anxiety to help reassure, comfort and connect them in moments of concern?
  • What if AR solutions could identify genetic make up?
  • And what if AR experiences could unfold details about a patient’s profile that could lead to manufacturing commerce and medication discounts?

the startup bootcamp program

Five startup teams that have startup concepts for digital health and augmented reality will be selected for the program. Teams are encouraged to submit concepts that relate to the Challenge Questions listed above. The program will include a mandatory Lean Launchpad curriculum intended to support startup teams through the validation phase of their startup formation, to include best practices and exposure to useful entrepreneurship methodologies.

Award per Team: $5,000

Program location: New York City

Program dates: Exact dates TBD. The program will begin during the week of June 5th, 2017 and will conclude during the week of July 17th, 2017.

Team eligibility: Graduate student teams (2-5 individuals) must be currently affiliated with a U.S.-based accredited university at the time of application. Graduate students are invited to submit concepts they believe have high potential and have been cleared by their university from an IP perspective to participate in the program.

Application deadline: Friday, May 5, 2017 at 5:00pm EST

After each application submission, NYC Media Lab performs an initial evaluation of the concept and the team's potential and, with input from Publicis Health, selects Finalists to advance for in-person interviews.

Finalist Interview Day in New York City: Thursday, May 11, 2017

What to expect

Regarding mentorship through the program:  

Funded teams can expect to work very closely with leaders from NYC Media Lab and Publicis Health, as well as a mentor and guest speaker community comprised of experts and advisors associated with the two organizations. Mentorship topics will include intellectual property, business development, technology development, regulatory matters, venture formation and incubation, licensing and strategic partnering. Teams should also expect close oversight and monitoring of project performance, to help identify issues and obstacles early on. 

Regarding the program's time commitment:

The most important responsibility is full participation in the program. There is a significant time commitment involved in trying to start a company. At a minimum, you can expect to spend 3 hours in scheduled course sessions per week, as well as ~40 hours a week doing customer discovery. This is not optional- funded teams are expected to participate in all scheduled program meetings, classes, sessions, etc. Each team will regularly report on progress toward technical and business milestones, and will provide information to NYC Media Lab and its partners on its progress.

Each team will be required to conduct 60 customer/user interviews during the course of the program. Teams that do not show progress towards program goals may forfeit grant funding and will not be permitted to complete the program.

Regarding what follows the bootcamp:

The program will end with a Demo Day with an audience made up of Publicis Health executives and clients as well as the NYC Media Lab network. Teams can expect to be prepared to form a company, and to feel confident about the opportunity to further startup competitions, accelerators, and even potentially enter into pilot programs with their first clients. Most startups fail; the goal of this program is to help teams take their best shot at success.

Program Timeline

Week of June 5          Week One, including a 1.5 day orientation

Week of June 12         Week Two    

Week of June 19         Week Three

Week of June 26        Week Four

Week of July 3            No curriculum

Week of July 10          Week Five

Week of July 17          Week Six, including Demo Day

About Publicis Health

Publicis Health (PH) is the largest healthcare communications network in the world. We are a division of Publicis Groupe S.A., the third largest advertising and media company, giving us unparalleled global reach. PH manages top-tier agencies specializing in promoting innovative solutions in advertising, medical education, sales and marketing, digital, market access, and medical and scientific affairs. Our nearly 5,500 employees work to manage nearly 12 agency brands in more than 60 offices located in 10 countries.  


About NYC Media Lab

NYC Media Lab connects digital media and technology companies with New York City's universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. A public-private partnership launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Media Lab funds prototyping projects that foster collaboration across a range of disciplines core to the future of media and runs The Combine, an early stage accelerator for emerging media and technology startups.

Questions? Contact: Amy Chen, Manager of Partnerships at NYC Media Lab at